Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Former president Bill Clinton made the economic case for implementing and improving the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday morning at the Clinton Presidential
Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. Clinton’s Simple Case For Obamacare: ‘It’s Better Than The Current System’:
The White House asked the man who was dubbed “The Secretary of
Explaining Stuff” after last year’s Democratic convention to explain the
law, in an attempt to combat the massive campaign by Republicans to
misinform voters and sabotage President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment.
“I have agreed to give this talk today because I am still amazed at
how much misunderstanding there is about the current system of health
care, how it works, how it compares with what other people in other
countries pay for health care and what kind of results they get and what
changes are actually occurring now and are going to occur in the
future,” he said.
Clinton was speaking in front of a small audience of doctors and
health care professionals, but his audience was clearly the media and
thousands watching the livestream of the speech online.
[C-Span video replay Pres. Clinton Defends Health Care Law.] h/t photo
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released the last week of August
revealed that 51 percent of people polled said they “don’t have enough
information about the Affordable Care Act to understand how it will
impact them and their family,” and 44 percent were confused about or
unaware of the current status of the law.
The former president noted that America is first “by a country mile”
in the share of gross domestic product we spend on health care, at 17.9
percent. Yet our results are somewhere around 25th — at best — in the
* * *
“The difference between 17.9 percent and 12 percent is $1 trillion a
year,” he said. “A trillion dollars that could go to pay raises, or to
hire new employees or to make investments that would make our economy
grow faster or to provide more capital to start small businesses or to
expand others or to support diversifying and strengthening agriculture.
You name it. A trillion dollars is a lot of money to spot our
competitors in a highly competitive global economy.”
Obamacare is the best way to begin this transformation, he argued.
“It’s better than the current system, which is unaffordable and downright unhealthy for millions of Americans,” he said.
At the beginning of next month, Obamacare’s open enrollment begins as
state marketplaces allow millions of Americans to choose from newly
regulated plans. Tens of millions of Americans who earn up to 138
percent of the poverty level will become eligible for Medicaid in states
that have chosen to expand the program, and an estimated 26 million
Americans will discover that they are eligible for tax credits to help
them pay for insurance.
Clinton touted the benefits of the law that are already in place that
have allowed students to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26,
along with reforms that require insurance companies not consider
pre-existing conditions for 17 million kids. In addition, more than 100
million Americans have seen the lifetime caps on their insurance
He also debunked one of the biggest lies from the right, that the law
is leading to an epidemic of employers cutting workers to part-time, by
noting that 90 percent of the jobs created since the law passed have
“This law has already done a lot of good,” Clinton said. “It’s about
to make 95 percent of us insured with access to affordable care. It has
built-in incentives to lower costs and improve quality.”
Clinton’s affection for the law and the progress it promises was
obvious, as he noted that it was more than a century ago when President
Theodore Roosevelt first proposed that health care should be available
to all Americans.
* * *
But Clinton was also honest about improvements that need to be made
to the law. He cited requirements for low-wage workers to cover their
entire family or face penalties, along with complications created when
the Supreme Court made it easy for states to opt out of Medicaid
He noted that though the House GOP has obsessively voted to repeal
the law without presenting an alternative, other Republicans on the
state and local levels have been working to implement the law properly.
He cited Arkansas as example of how bipartisan cooperation can make the
“You can’t change a complex ecosystem like American health care this
much without creating some problems,” he said. “So there are some. But
they can best be solved if we all work together to fix them.”
Let's see how much of Bill Clinton's "explaining" the corporate lamestream media will actually report.